Nvidia Driver Issues

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Nvidia Driver Issues // Hardware

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Post by Délé // Aug 9, 2008, 6:20pm

Délé
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I've been having Nvidia driver issues. Big surprise, I'm sure. :rolleyes: Anyway, I had stayed with the 78.01 drivers ever since tS7.0 came out because they always seemed to be better than the newer drivers coming out. However, I started getting flickering and driver failures in 7.6 when in FPN with a semi-large scene.

So I updated my drivers to the latest (175.19) to see if Nvidia had actually made any progress over the last couple of years. As usual, the latest drivers were worse. I didn't get the driver failures, but the flickering screen was too much to tolerate.

Then I tried the 81.85 drivers as some gamers on a forum were saying that version worked well with their 6800 ultra's. However, I had the same flickering problem. So then I rolled back to 78.01 again. Strangely I'm still getting the same flickering problem as when I installed the newest drivers.

I did completely uninstall the drivers, rebooted my computer, then reinstalled 78.01, but it still flickers really bad. It never used to flicker when I played Far Cry, but now it does. It even locks up frequently.

The strange thing is that the flickering seems to be related to my processor. Whenever my processor is working harder, the flickering gets worse. I noticed this when my virus scan kicked in and my screen started flickering.

So now I can't play Far Cry or walk around in FPN in tS without flickering screens and freezing up, no matter which drivers I have installed. It's like installing the newest drivers wrecked something.

Has anyone else run into something like this? Any ideas how to get the older drivers (78.01) running like they did before I installed the newest drivers? Also if you have suggestions as to which drivers work well with a BFG 6800 ultra, I would be interested in trying them. Though they probably won't work now that the newest drivers screwed everything up.

I tell you, I am so fed up with Nvidia drivers. Great cards, but the horrible drivers render them useless. Maybe if they had some way to contact them, they would be able to hear how pissed off many of their customers are. I guess they will just have to see it in their dropping sales. :mad:

Post by Breech Block // Aug 9, 2008, 6:55pm

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The Nvidia Beta drivers (177.79) are really good and have resolved a lot of my woes. The trouble when you change drivers back and forth is that when you try to go backwards, the driver doesn't always install properly as Windows assumes you always want the latest version. Try running a program like Driversweeper (free from 3D Guru) that will wipe all the Nvidia drivers from your system and then do a fresh install with the version you were happy with. Be aware that if you have other hardware controlled by Nvidia drivers such as your mobo then drivesweeper does differentiate and will simply wipe ALL Nvidia drivers from your system.

Post by Délé // Aug 9, 2008, 7:34pm

Délé
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Thanks Breech, I'll give that a try. That's kind of what I was thinking, the latest drivers didn't seem to have completely uninstalled. I'll also try the 177.79 drivers.


Thanks for the help. I'll let you know how it works. :)

Post by Délé // Aug 9, 2008, 9:55pm

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Unfortunately it didn't work. :( I used the driver sweep program in safe mode after each time I uninstalled drivers. It did find some files to clean out each time, but it didn't seem to make a difference. I still get flickering with any drivers that I install. :( I wasn't able to try the 177.79 drivers as it looked like those are only for 8 series and up.

I'm starting to think it's just time for a whole computer upgrade and change to an ATI card. I will be getting around $1,000 this month from renters credit. I was going to use that for two new monitors and Visual Studio 2008, but now I'm thinking maybe it would be best to upgrade my computer. It's about 5 years old. Probably time to upgrade.

Right now it's only a 2.4ghz P4 single core (not even hyperthreading). My motherboard also only has an AGB slot. All of the newer graphics cards use PCIE as I understand it.

Ideally I would like to get a new motherboard, processors, RAM, ATI card, and a case. I would like to still use my hard drive, DVD Rom, and monitor. I could upgrade the hard drive and such later. Plus, then I wouldn't have to reinstall all of my programs and stuff. The hard drive is only an 80gig and practically full, but I have an external drive that I can clean files out to. I was thinking that I'll upgrade my hard drive next year and get Vista 64 with it. That should be a good time to go 64 bit.

I'm not all that knowledgeable when it comes to hardware. Are there any foreseeable problems with upgrading everything except the hard drive? Anything to watch out for?

Also any suggestions on stuff to buy? Good deals on motherboards, processors and such?

Thanks,
Délé

Post by Tiles // Aug 9, 2008, 10:42pm

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Total Posts: 1037
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Makes no sense to keep this old components. Stuff like a HDD is really cheap nowadays. And your old HDD will slow down your whole system. Leave your old system intact and put it aside as a reserve system. I would go for a cheap complete system. There are useful ones out there for below 500 bucks. But take care about the graphics card ;)

Post by Délé // Aug 9, 2008, 10:55pm

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Well, the main reason is so that I don't have to reinstall all of my programs (I have MANY), and so that I don't have to buy a new Operating system. Windows alone will set me back a couple of hundred bucks. Plus I don't really want to get Vista just yet. I want to wait another year until more of the kinks are worked out, then just make the 64 bit jump.

With that said, there may not be a way around it. I'm looking at motherboards and I don't think my old HD will work with most of them.

Is it possible to just copy my HD over to a new one, windows and all?

Post by Tiles // Aug 9, 2008, 11:36pm

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Possible but not very practicable. I would really install from scratch. That way you can be sure that no conflicting stuff will be transferred.


I have found descriptions though how to transfer the whole installation from one HDD to another. Just google for "Windows xp move". But the cleanest way is the fresh install.

Post by splinters // Aug 9, 2008, 11:37pm

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Tiles is right Dele, just hold off until you can get a new system as you will be cobbling together stuff and, even if it fits in, will probably be bottlenecked by other 'lesser' components.

I nearly picked up a PC the other day which was a return item; Intel Dual Quad 6600, 500GB HD, 3GB RAM inbuilt 9XXX graphics, Vista Home premium etc. for £285 with full warranty.

Add a decent card and that is a nice system.


Soounds to me like a fresh install of windows is your best bet here (start from fresh) although the constant flickering regardless of driver sounds like the actual GPU might be on its way out...again though, back to the issue of finding a decent AGP card nowadays...:o

Post by Délé // Aug 10, 2008, 12:19am

Délé
Total Posts: 1374
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Yeah, I think I definitely need to get a whole new computer. My PSU, DVD ROM, and keyboard are pretty new though, so I should be able to reuse those without trouble. I think I will just have to suck it up and get a new HD and Windows Vista. Reinstall everything. I guess I'll have to pull back on the graphics card, mother board, and CPU's that I want. It would be nice if I could phase into a new computer. Then I could get higher end stuff that will last a bit longer. I might have to compromise a bit though.

I really do have to try to get something cobbled together for around $1,000 soon though. If I can't get something workable at that price right now, I'll have to wait until next year, and will be in pretty much the same situation. I really shouldn't even spend this money, but it's the one time a year that I have an opportunity to do a little upgrading. This time it will be more of an overhaul though. If I don't do it, I think this next year will be a long one with my computer barely sputtering through.

Ahhh...I guess I have some thinking to do.

Thanks for your input though guys. Gives me some things to consider.

Post by Igor K Handel // Aug 10, 2008, 12:41am

Igor K Handel
Total Posts: 411
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As a slight aside/ warning on the Nvidia topic


I have Nvidia mobo. PC came with Nvidia installed network card + 2 sli 7600gt cards.


Made the big mistake of installing the nvidia networking prog that was an option. In 20+ years of messing with Pcs I never had so much grief! The networking prog includes a firewall, but it's a hardware firewall specific to their network card.... And it is atrocious, and in no way works. It ignores user input for prog access rights, the uninstaller doesn't uninstall, there are bits of code left all over the place... It's just woeful. Googling opens up a massive can of worms as Nvidia don't appear to be sorting it, and searches or support just sends everyone in circles and doesn't actually give a solution.


My advice avoid the Nvidia networking/Firewall like the plague.. took me days to finally resolve.


IK

Post by ghost--scout // Aug 10, 2008, 1:00am

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Total Posts: 85
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In most games I get a wierd flicker where almost everything flickers with a shade of red. Most of the time it's because the cards have heated up and all I do is remove one of the cooling supports under that side of the laptop and the flicker usually goes away for me. Not the solution you were looking for, I'm sure, but that's what happens to me. I'm running 2x 7800 GTX Go's.

Post by Délé // Aug 10, 2008, 3:16am

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Total Posts: 1374
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Thanks guys. It's possible that it is overheating I guess. I opened the side of my computer and have a fan blowing on it. If that is the case, that should help. Worth a try.


I decided that I can wait for Vista. I'm also scaling back a bit on the video card I want. I'm a little over budget, might have to cut a little more, but here's the setup I'm considering.


Motherboard and CPU's:

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=3720322&Sku=MBM-P5E3-Q6700


RAM:

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=3163026&CatId=3361


Video Card:

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=3575585&Sku=D10-3872


Hard Drive:

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2203982&Sku=TSD-750AS


Case:

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=3180428&Sku=T925-4100


Monitor:

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=3591353&Sku=S203-2251


I figured that I can use XP Pro for another year. That will save some money. I can then just go with 2gb ram as I won't need more. I can upgrade those next year. I can also use my keyboard, mouse, DVD player, etc. That will save a bit for now too.


Any suggestions are welcomed. I know a moderate amount about hardware, but I'm definitely no expert. ;)

Post by splinters // Aug 10, 2008, 4:40am

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I wouldn't be in any rush to move to Vista Dele...I am seriously thinking about going back to XP. My laptop is XP and I run most things faultlessly. Nothing but trouble on the (Much newer) Vista machine...:(

Post by Jack Edwards // Aug 10, 2008, 7:18am

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The flickering when CPU is underload could be a PSU issue. The CPU and Video card draw more power when they are under load and it could be that your power supply just can't keep up or is unable to provide clean power at full load.

For video card I'd go with new tech and get the ATI HD 4850. It's only $200 and very good performance.

Post by Délé // Aug 10, 2008, 7:33am

Délé
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Excellent idea Jack, thanks. I checked it out at Tiger Direct and that card is only $165 after rebate. Not bad. It also has DVI and VGA support. I only have a VGA monitor right now. This means that I would be able to use this monitor until I could get a good pair of DVI's. It's still DX10.1 and Shader Model 4.1 compatible. It's also Crossfire, so I could buy another one down the road and hook them together (if I understand that correctly).


That would easily bring down the cost into my price range. Thanks for the tip. :)

Post by Délé // Aug 10, 2008, 7:44am

Délé
Total Posts: 1374
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The flickering when CPU is underload could be a PSU issue. The CPU and Video card draw more power when they are under load and it could be that your power supply just can't keep up or is unable to provide clean power at full load.

That sounds more like what is probably going on. Strange though that it has not been a problem until I upgraded the video drivers. :confused: It's worked well for two years. It is a 500W PS so I would think it would keep up with my old hardware. Could be something goofy going on with it though.

I saw a case with an 800W PS. I think I'll buy that instead. It would be good to have more power with the new system to ensure everything is getting the power it needs.

Post by noko // Aug 10, 2008, 7:53pm

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Total Posts: 684
Yes the ATI 4XXX series are great performers, the HD 4870 is actually faster then the 3870 X2 in a number of things and cheaper. For tS I doubt the X2 will use both cores and would slower then a ATI HD 4850. In fact the ATI 4850 is faster then my 8800 GTX. Great round by ATI this time around.


I usually shop at Newegg.com for my computer needs, so far they have been the best most reliable online store I've dealt with.

Post by Délé // Aug 11, 2008, 3:07am

Délé
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Thanks for all of the suggestions guys. :) I just placed my order. :banana:


Here's what I'll be getting:


MotherBoard and CPU's:

Asus P5E3 Delux board with 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Quad


RAM:

Corsair 2048 DDR3 1333MHz


Video Card:

Visiontek Radeon HD 4850 Video Card - 512MB GDDR3, PCI Express 2.0, CrossFireX Ready


Hard Drive:

Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 750GB Hard Drive - 7200, 16MB, Serial ATA-300, OEM


Case and Power Supply:

Apevia Black/Black X-Plorer ATX Mid-Tower Case with Clear Side, Fan Controller, Front USB and Firewire Port, PowerUp 800-Watt PSU


Monitor:

Samsung 220WM 22" Widescreen LCD Monitor


So hopefully that setup will work good. I have to say, I'm excited to get a new computer, but I'm dreading all of the time it's going to take to reinstall my programs and bring over all of my different saved settings and stuff. This really wiped out my whole refund too. Still, it should be worth it.


Man, I feel really weird today. On top of purchasing my new computer, I just shaved off my beard that I had been growing for two years. It was nearly down to my belly button. This is going to take a while to get used to. I look weird now. Or maybe I looked weird with the beard. Who's to say I guess. :p

Post by Jack Edwards // Aug 11, 2008, 4:34am

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Congratulations on the upgrade Dele! :banana:

BTW, about the beard, suppose you'll get stopped less at airports now. ;)

Post by Délé // Aug 12, 2008, 3:55am

Délé
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Thanks Jack. The UPS tracking says it's set to arrive tomorrow. Man that's fast shipping. :D


I never was in an airport with the beard, but I bet I would have gotten stopped. I did get comments pretty much everywhere I went though. Not every day you see someone with a big 'ol red beard I guess. :p


I'm still trying to get used to the way I look now. I think I'll try this look for a while. Might have to start a new beard this winter though. Gets cold up here in Minnesota. ;)

Post by splinters // Aug 12, 2008, 4:57am

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Man, I feel really weird today. On top of purchasing my new computer, I just shaved off my beard that I had been growing for two years. It was nearly down to my belly button. This is going to take a while to get used to. I look weird now. Or maybe I looked weird with the beard. Who's to say I guess. :p


Show us a pic and we'll decide...:D

Post by noko // Aug 23, 2008, 8:03pm

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Total Posts: 684
Any updates Délé?

Post by splinters // Aug 24, 2008, 12:08am

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Any updates Délé?


On what...the card or the beard? ;)

Post by Délé // Aug 24, 2008, 4:39am

Délé
Total Posts: 1374
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I was hoping to have my new computer set up and running by now. The shipment got here in two days. Very fast. Unfortunately the back corner of the case was all crushed in. Thanks UPS! :mad: I couldn't even get the side panel off. So I sent it back for an exchange.

I also realized that I hadn't gotten a heatsink/CPU fan, so I had to order one of those too. That arrived early last week. I was expecting the new case to be here by now, but apparently someone dropped the ball on that. Tiger Direct is usually pretty good with that stuff, but when I called yesterday they hadn't even sent the new one out. So they are sending a new one out on Monday. If it doesn't get damaged in shipping again, I should be up and running by the end of this week.

It's driving me batty though. My computer is flaking out more and more. Yesterday it kept crashing just checking my email. About all I can really do on this machine right now is play solitaire. I've got the processor, heatsink/fan, and RAM set up on my new motherboard, but I can't really put anything else together until I have my case. ARGGGG! :(

I do have my new 22 inch wide screen monitor set up on this computer though. I'm loving this monitor. Very clear and crisp, and I REALLY love how much more real estate I have now. It's nearly twice the space of my old 19 inch. Now I should have plenty of room in tS for all of the windows I like to have open. :) I can't really do anything in tS until I get my new computer set up though. :(

So I'm just dead in the water right now, banging my head on the wall waiting for that case. I still think the problem with my computer is more of a driver issue than the card or anything though. It all started when I updated my drivers. I bet everything would run ok again if I reformatted my hard drive and started over. I think there is just something with drivers that isn't getting cleaned out when reinstalling. I would still have trouble finding drivers that work decent even if I did get it working again though. I can't wait to see how the ATI card and drivers work. Hopefully Nvidia drivers will just become a bad dream by next week. ;)

Paul: I'll take a picture after I have my new system set up and you guys can tell me if I look weird now. :p I only have a webcam and my computer is seriously flaking out. I can't get a picture right now. I don't really have a before picture, except for my ambassador picture. My beard had a bout six months more growth from that shot. I'm getting used to not having the beard now, though I still think look a little weird without it.

Post by Greenthunder // Aug 25, 2008, 4:05am

Greenthunder
Total Posts: 10
I just upgraded my computer too.


My specs:


ASUS P5Q-E ATX LGA775 P45 DDR2 3PCI-E16 2PCI-E1 2PCI SATA2 Sound GBLAN eSATA 1394 Motherboard


Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Quad Core Processor LGA775 Kentsfield 2.40GHZ 1066FSB 8MB


Xigmatek HDT-S1283 Direct Touch 3 Heatpipe Heatsink AM2 LGA775 S754 S939 S940 W 120MM PWM Fan


G.SKILL F2-8000CL5D-4GBPQ PC2-8000 4GB 2X2GB DDR2-1000 CL5-5-5-15 240PIN Dual Channel Memory Kit


Diamond Radeon HD 4850 512MB GDDR3 PCI-E Dual DVI-I HDCP HDTV Out Video Card


Corsair CMPSU-620HX 620W ATX Triple 12V 50A 24PIN ATX Modular Power Supply 120MM Fan 2X


Using my Western Digital 36GB Raptor 10,000 rpm drives in Raid 0 for first drive


Western Digital SE16 500GB SATA2 7200RPM 16MB Cache 8.9MS NCQ Hard Drive for my data drive


I didn't order my case online, shipping costs too much. Went to a local computer store and got one of these: NZXT LEXA Blackline ATX Case Black 4X5.25 2X3.5 5X3.5INT No PS Temp Display Window Front USB & Audio


Win XP Pro


Tried my first attempt at overclocking yesterday, cpu to 2.95ghz. So far so good!


Funny how the day my stuff arrived, my old Ati 9700 in my old system fried!


Can't wait to really use Ts 7.6 now :jumpy:


Cheers,

Jeff

Post by Délé // Aug 30, 2008, 9:21am

Délé
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Looks like we have pretty similar setups now Jeff. :)

I'm finally up and running with my new computer. WoooHooo! :D :banana: :banana:

So far so good. I don't think that I fried anything. I didn't see any smoke at least. :rolleyes:

I haven't installed tS yet. Can't wait to see how that works with the new ATI card. I did install Bioshock though to give it a good run through. I have to say, it's like night and day. I didn't really play Bioshock on my old computer because the screen flickered a bit and it didn't really run great. It looks OUTSTANDING with my new ATI card and 22 inch widescreen monitor. It runs smooth as silk, even with the highest settings.

Now that I have all the drivers installed and my external devices working, it's time to move onto the programs, starting with tS of course. :) I have so many programs to install. I acquired quite a collection over the last 5 years. :rolleyes:

I am wondering how to get some of my old info ported to the new computer though. Does anyone know if it's possible to save the bookmarks from Firefox to a file that I can transfer to my new computer? I can do it by hand I guess, but that would kind of suck.

Also, does anyone know if it's possible to save the info from Outlook Express? Like all of the saved email addresses and my email settings? I saw that you could "load" stuff, but I didn't see anywhere that you could export anything. :confused:

At any rate, it's SOOOOOO nice to have a much faster and more robust system. I'm digg'n it for sure. It's a REALLY nice change to have a graphics card with drivers that work right off the bat. Still some testing to do, but so far it's rock solid. :D

Post by splinters // Aug 30, 2008, 10:03am

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Good for you Dele, glad you got sorted. I am playing Bioshock again now that I have a 9800GT. It is pretty unique but try Crysis for real eye candy...:D


Sure tS will fly for you too.

Post by Délé // Sep 3, 2008, 1:38pm

Délé
Total Posts: 1374
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Alright, I recently learned of a downside to ATI that I wasn't previously aware of. For anyone else considering using ATI cards, this is something that you might want to factor in. This really bummed me out. :(

Apparently, Nvidia can do better real-time shadowing. I have two images below of the same scene. There is one directional light casting the shadows.

The first image shows the bad shadows produced with the ATI card. These shadows were nice and smooth with my old Nvidia card. Now you can see that they are rigid and hatched. The shadow map size is set to 1024 and the filtering quality is set to 4.

The second image shows better shadows with the ATI card. I had to double the shadow map size to 2048 and set the filtering quality to 3. This is much better, but still doesn't look as good as the Nvidia card did with half the map size. Really, I have to bump the map size up to 4096 to get really good shadows.

So unfortunately, Nvidia can do better shadowing with smaller map sizes. This may not be all that important to a lot of people, but it is a limitation to consider if you make online interactive scenes. Having shadow maps set too high could bog down other peoples machines. It is rather disheartening to have this rather large disparity with regards to shadowing between the two cards. Makes it a little harder to make real-time scenes that will work for everyone.

So if you are considering an ATI card, you might want to be aware of this and factor it in. ATI can't do as good with smaller shadow maps, and Nvidia can't write drivers. :rolleyes:

14857

14858

Post by splinters // Sep 4, 2008, 12:48am

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At £111, I seriously considered the 512mb ATi HD4850 but I have a small micro ATX system and the fact that they run hot (90 degrees I have heard) put me off.


Very happy with a £99 XFX 9800GT especially as the drivers really seem to be coming together and the added PhysX support is a bonus!


Seeing Crysis in all it's glory at long last was a pleasant experience too!

Post by TomG // Sep 4, 2008, 1:47am

TomG
Total Posts: 3397
NVIDIA cards can do hardware shadowing, which allows for soft shadows, and lets you use much lower shadow map sizes to get very nice results. While several generations of cards have come and gone, NVIDIA cards remains the only ones to offer this, ATI has never implemented it.


You'll find the Hardware Shadow Filtering checkbox in the File -> HW Settings menu on workspace side, you can disable that if you have an NVIDIA card to see how it looks without it.


Have you ensured the light's Filtering Quality is set to max (which sets up Poisson Disc filtering I think) to see if that helps offset the loss of quality a little?


Anyway it is an important thing to remember, that NVIDIA cards are the only ones that offer this feature, very handy for getting the best out of your real-time renders.


HTH!

Tom
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